Man’s gun turned out to be television remote control

Man’s gun turned out to be television remote control

Man’s gun turned out to be television remote control

First published in York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

A MAN with a fake gun which turned out to be a television remote control caused a tense stand-off with armed police in a York park, a court has heard.

Fifty five-year-old Melville Robert Akers appeared at York Crown Court yesterday charged with possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Akers, formerly of Haxby Road, had already pleaded guilty to the offence at a hearing in November.

Sentencing him, Recorder of York Judge Stephen Ashurst issued a hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

Prosecutor Andrew Semple told the court that on July 27 last year Akers had wanted to effect “suicide by police”.

He had called the police himself and told them he had a handgun. Three officers - armed with a rifle and rubber bullets - went to the Haxby park, where they found him sitting on a bench and watched as he reached into his pocket and took out what they thought was a pistol.

Mr Semple said the police shouted at him to drop the gun, but Akers levelled it at the officers and, at times, his own head.

At one point he left the park, leading to fears he would use the “gun” against a member of the public and at another point in the stand off the police officers were so worried they took cover behind a police car.

Eventually a police dog was released and Akers dropped the “gun”, which police then realised was a black TV remote.

Before sentencing Akers, Judge Ashurst said he had read two medical reports which said he would benefit from hospital treatment.

The judge said the incident could easily have escalated into something more serious, but he was satisfied that Akers’ state of mental health was a significant factor.

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